Our dogs come into our lives as "just the family pet," but before we know it they become drinking buddies and fuzzy shrinks, playmates and Cheerios-munching vacuum cleaners, alarm clocks and sleeping partners. Read more...
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Our dogs come into our lives as "just the family pet," but before we know it they become drinking buddies and fuzzy shrinks, playmates and Cheerios-munching vacuum cleaners, alarm clocks and sleeping partners. And, in their mys-terious and muttish ways, our dogs become our teachers.
When Dana Jennings and his son were both seriously ill--Dana with prostate cancer and his son with liver failure--their twelve-year-old miniature poodle Bijou became even more than a pet and teacher. She became a healing presence in their lives. After all, when you're recovering from radical surgery and your life is uncertain, there's no better medicine than a twenty-three-pound pooch who lives by the motto that it's always best to play, even when you're old and creaky, even when you're sick and frightened.
In telling Bijou's tale in all of its funny, touching, and neurotic glory, Jennings is telling the story of every dog that has ever blessed our lives. The perfect gift for animal lovers, "What a Difference a Dog Makes "is a narrative ode to our canine guardian angels.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2010-06-14
- Reviewer: Staff
Jennings (Sing Me Back Home) offers an adoring if uneven look at the wisdom and healing powers of his prized miniature poodle, Bijou. When Jennings and his son, Owen, find themselves battling aggressive prostate cancer and liver failure respectively, they both find solace in the companionship of their "canine Zen master" (whose succinct life lessons are peppered throughout the book). While the setup is moving and Jennings is a charming writer, the book is slight and the advice (putatively from Bijou's point of view) is more trite than profound: "When the sun rises, it's time to get up"; "When a stranger knocks, bark." Still Jennings's wry sense of humor shines through (especially while describing reproducing lizards and Bijou achieving nirvana thanks to spilled Cheerios) and he pays valiant tribute to his beloved pet and friend. It's the rare reader who won't take some pleasure in Jennings's strength (and how smitten he is with the noble Bijou). (Nov.)